Remembering Mama Africa Miriam Makeba

Remembering Mama Africa Miriam Makeba

Last week marked the 86th birthday of the late South African singer and Miriam Makeba, known to millions worldwide as “Mama Africa.” She “used her voice as a weapon in the struggle against apartheid” in her native land and came to personify the global African Liberation Movement. Napoleon Bonapart, said Makeba, was a “White” Chaka Zulu.

Why Are Black Elites in the Caribbean and the US Rewriting the Legacy of Walter Rodney?

By Dr. Matthew Quest

The current government of Guyana, along with black elites across the Caribbean, and black U.S. apologists for Obama are rewriting the legacy of Walter Rodney to suit their own purposes, The Rodney they celebrate in statues and symposiums only vaguely resembles the man who walked among and organized students and workers against some of these same black elites in his day.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of March 7, 2016

New FBI Guidelines for Targeting Classroom “Radicals”

The nation’s teachers will soon be getting revised FBI guidelines on how to spot “radicalized” students. “The modern FBI ‘counter-violence and extremism’ program is directed primarily at the Muslim community, right now,” said Michael German, a former FBI agent who is now a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. “But the conceptual part of it applies to any ideology, and in the past has applied to civil rights organizing, anti-war organizing and many other types of legitimate social advancement, in the name of protecting security.”

Executed for Sleeping While Black

Kisha Michael, a 31 year-old mother of three sons, and Marquitan Sandlin, a 32 year-old father of four daughters, were shot to death by an Inglewood, California, SWAT team after being discovered asleep in a car at 3:00 in the morning. “If they get away with this, they’ll say, ‘In two months we’ll go out there and kill us another couple,” said Ms. Michael’s aunt, Virginia Sewell. “It makes me feel really threatened because it seems as though they’re laughing about it.”

Were Marquitan and Kisha executed for failing to wake up? “Yeah, and that they were Black,” said Keith Jackson, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, who helped the victims’ families organize protests. “I say that because this is racially targeted throughout the country. It is really like a genocidal onslaught.”

Don’t Put it All on Trump: White Supremacy and Capitalism in Crisis

Beginning in the 1960s, according to Dubois scholar and Black Radical Organizing Committee member Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Republicans methodically reorganized their party “based upon one ideological position: white supremacy.” Now, with both the capitalist economy and white supremacy in crisis, “working class and lower middle class Republicans are in an existential crisis.” Monteiro believes a “more positive rebellion” is occurring among Democrats. “The Black Left has to begin to shape and give guidance to a rebellion that will include Black people, as well as whites and Latinos and others.”

Why Europe Owes Africa and the Americas for its Wealth and “Civilization”

Although both presidents Bush and Obama did their best to sabotage United Nations conferences against racism, in Durban, South Africa, in 2001 and 2009, the “Durban process” still lives, and its 15th anniversary will be commemorated in the Netherlands, later this month. Veteran activist and BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka, a founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network, will lead a panel at the event. “We said that ‘Europe’ was, literally, a creation of Africa and the America’s; that the hegemony of Europe was a consequence of the invasion of the Americas, the subjugation and attempted extermination of native people, and the importation and exploitation of African labor,” said Baraka. “That was the foundation for Europe’s ‘civilization’ and capitalism.” The analysis formed “the basis for the demand for reparations in terms of relationships between the states in the North and the various states in the African Diaspora.” That’s why the Europeans, Americans and Israelis undermined and boycotted Durban I and II.

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Trash the Party: One Wing of the Duoploy Almost Down, One to Go

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The “non-racist” Republicans (as if such a thing exists) are threatening to bail out of the Party rather than share it with Donald Trump. Can Bernie Sanders’ Democratic followers share a Party with the corporate shill, Hillary Clinton? “Once the two-party arrangement has been fractured on the Right – as has already begun – it will likely splinter on the Left, as well.”

Freedom Rider: Bye Melissa

by BAR editor and columnist Margaret Kimberley

When Melissa Harris-Perry publicly announced her resignation from MSNBC, the cable network that serves as the Democratic Party's house organ, she vowed not to be tokenized or silenced. But of course, the rich owners can silence whoever they want with the flip of a switch, just as Harris-Perry tried “to silence black people” and Edward Snowden “if doing so suited the purposes of the system in general or the Obama White House in particular.”

High Corporate Crimes In Michigan Must be Terminated with Extreme Prejudice

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

“Under corporate rule, high finance is the motive for the highest of crimes, while the exercise of free speech and assembly and other fundamental democratic rights are criminalized.” That’s why two teachers may lose their democratic liberties for defending Detroit school children, next week, while a governor and his underlings commit crimes against humanity with impunity. The script of justice must be flipped.

 
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Did the People Who Took Home Oscars Really Deserve Them, Given How Biased the Process Was?

 

by Maya Rockeymoore

The people who control the selection of artists and project teams for Hollywood films  are 96 percent white and 87 percent male. They are not smarter or more creative than the rest of us, but their worldview dominates the mass culture of the planet. Their “product” is “effectively limiting the ability of our nation to form a true cultural democracy that validates the diverse experiences and views of all of its people.”

Yes, I Said “National Liberation”

by Robin D.G. Kelley 

Peace is not just the absence of violent warfare; peace is justice: No Justice – No Peace. In Palestine and in the U.S., what we seek is a new and better world, not just a cessation of armed hostilities. So, “How did we move from a solidarity firmly rooted in the commonalities of resistance to one based almost entirely on the commonalities of oppression?”

What is America doing in the South China Sea?

by Cynthia McKinney

Washington gives endless lip service to notions of democracy and the rule of law, while relentlessly pursuing global domination. “The US has embarked upon a strategy of containing the rise of Russia and China, rolling back any gains made by states friendly with them and willing to go against the neoliberal grain, and doing this by alternative means without overt or ‘hot’ war.”

Public Defender Meltdown in Louisiana

by Bill Quigley 

Equal justice under the law is a mere abstraction, or a cruel joke, if you’re a captive of the State and don’t have a lawyer. Louisiana’s public defender offices are broke, unable to provide the most elementary protections of defendants’ rights. “The constitutional guarantee of speedy trial is gone and death penalty cases are grinding to a halt.”

Oppose Massive Land Grabbing, Human Rights Abuses by Ethiopian Government

by International League of Peoples’ Struggle Commission No. 6

The regime has killed over 140 students, teachers and farmers since last November. This is part of a crackdown on anti-government protests by farmers who are demanding to stop the implementation of the Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan, which will displace people from their ancestral land.

The US Extends Its Drone War Deeper Into Africa With Secretive Base

by Joshua Hammer

The explosive growth of Boko Haram, the Nigeria-based Islamic jihadists that surged across the region after NATO’s war of regime change in Libya, has been a boon for the U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM. The once-sleepy airport at “Garoua represents the newest expansion of America’s stealth war against jihad in Africa,” a theater of operations that stretches across Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Benin.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of February 29, 2016

Sanders, Trump Campaigns May Crash Both Parties

“The Bernie Sanders movement might break out into a major conflict at the convention in Philadelphia if the Sanders people feel that they’re being cheated, being swindled out of votes,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Dubois scholar and veteran activist who helped pull together a national conference on the Black Radical Tradition, in January. “The Republican Party might also collapse under the pressure of the ‘angry’ white men and women” supporting Donald Trump, said Dr. Monteiro. “The situation is so dynamic and unlike anything that we have experienced since the Civil War and Reconstruction.”

Detroit Teachers Move Towards City-Wide Strike

Steven Conn, the elected leader of the Detroit teachers union who was deposed by the union’s national leadership, said a city-wide strike is the only way to save the public schools from the machinations of Gov. Rick Snyder and his appointed emergency managers. Snyder wants to divide the Detroit’s public schools into two districts: one heavily indebted, the other debt-free. Conn said that’s a scheme “to allow the charter school operators to take over the schools without having to make any payback to the school district of the huge amount of debt that the State of Michigan has run up since its control of the district for the last 16 years.”

Teach For America’s Job Protection Racket

A new study of Teach for America contracts showed TFA collects hefty “finders’ fees” to place its neophyte teachers in classrooms in Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans and New York. Jameson Brewer, who led the study, said TFA contracts provide broad protection for its members’ jobs, while veteran traditional teachers are laid off. “Parents don’t know that their children are being taught by novice educators who’ve had two and a half days of training,” said Brewer.

Few Jobs After Jail

A n Alliance for a Just Society study documents more than 6,000 prohibitions on employment of convicted felons in states across the nation. “A lot of people know that it’s difficult for someone who comes out of jail to find a job,” said Allyson Fredericksen, an author of the report, “Jobs After Jail.” But most people don’t know that “there are laws on the books in every state in the country that ban people with felony records from specific types of employment.” Louisiana tops the list, with restrictions on 389 separate types of jobs.

Seize the Time, for Peace

Most of the people described in media as foreign policy experts “are not looking for peace; they’re looking for gain, monetary gains on some investments or something they can bank on. This is a Wall Street motive,” said lifelong activist, journalist and educator Dr. Charles Simmons, speaking at a meeting on Black Men in Unions at the Institute for Labor and Community Studies, in Detroit. “It’s going to take the little people, trade union folks, the rank and file, to come together and think about what needs to be done for peace,” said Simmons.

 
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The Bogus Power of the Black Vote Within the Confines of the Democratic Party

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

"Black Power" has been turned on its head on the electoral front, put at the service of corporatists like Hillary Clinton. "Paralyzed by fear of the White Man's Party, Black voters find a false sense of power in clustering around the perceived 'winners'" on the Democratic Party menu. "The mantra is, effectively, 'All Power to the Democratic Party!'" – brokered, of course, by the Black Misleadership Class.

Freedom Rider: Obama Forever and Ever

by BAR editor and columnist Margaret Kimberley

Obama is supposed to be a lame duck, but we are seeing a resurgence of his propaganda juggernaut. With the help of phony revolutionary Russell Simmons and shameless opportunist Van Jones, the Obama brand will be marketed in perpetuity. Obama enlists the young and the old to cry and dance for his benefit, so that he can "build libraries, make money and dispense patronage" ad infinitum, in service to the interests of the corporate and financial classes.

Black Lives Matter Take Note: Apartheid Israel Targeting Everyone that Questions Its 'Legitimacy'

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

It is a given that the U.S. national security state is engaged in surveillance, infiltration and disruption of the emerging Black Lives Matter movement, but they have doubtless been joined by the Israelis, who have launched a global digital war against supporters of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement. "The Israelis have already targeted, and made to disappear, web pages that are linked to BDS websites."

 
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How the Corporate Media Uses Beyoncé to Co-opt the Black Radical Movement

by Reggie E. and edited by Danny Haiphong

"Beyoncé’s latest work has been described as 'subversive' and 'unapologetically Black,'"” when in reality it is 'both anti-black liberation and counter-revolutionary." She is a Black capitalist, and "there is no market in this industry for radical black thought, self-love, and liberation." Her Pantheresque imagery attempts to co-opt a movement. "The revolution will not be televised, but the corporate media will certainly make it into a product."

No More Poisoned Babies: People Power vs. Corporate Emergency Managers

by Shea Howell

The corporate privatizers played the anti-Black race card to justify shutting off water to tens of thousands of poor Detroiters. But they can't play that game in Flint, Michigan, where the suffering cannot be denied or "explained away by easy racial stereotypes." Flint has stripped away "all the corporate efforts to claim emergency managers are necessary." But it took the poisoning of babies to make the point.

Why DeRay Mckesson's Baltimore Campaign Looks Like It Comes Right Out of Teach for America's Playbook

by Drew Franklin 

Twitterist and Campaign Zero honcho DeRay McKesson’s mayoral campaign platform for the Baltimore public schools “seems modeled in part on corporate education reforms under big-city mayors like Rahm Emanuel and Michael Bloomberg." Teach for America alums like McKesson typically oppose community-based school reforms, and favor "partnerships" with big business. "Cultivating relationships with tech giants has become a ‘major tactic’ of Campaign Zero."

The New Global Financial Cold War

A Bonnie Faulkner interview with Michael Hudson

When it comes to political economy, Dr. Michael Hudson is one of the most influential voices on the U.S. left. He warns that U.S. strategists have embarked on "a new Cold War with Russia," a war in which Washington trashes all the rules of global trade. The idea is to wall Russia off from participation in international commerce by smashing "their economic linkages and communications."

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